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Blades out at Slovo memorial

SACP’s Blade Nzimande responded to an open letter written to the party by Cosatu's Zwelinzima Vavi.

South African Communist Party (SACP)’s secretary general, Blade Nzimande. Picture: Christa Eybers /EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Tripartite alliance partners must use 2015 to forge unity, the South African Communist Party (SACP)'s Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.

He accused Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s Zwelinzima Vavi of trying to sow divisions through an open letter written to the party.

Vavi lamented the role the SACP played in Cosatu's internal divisions over leadership and accused Nzimande of worsening the situation.

The SACP general secretary was speaking in Soweto at the 20th commemoration of the death of his predecessor, Joe Slovo.

Nzimande accused National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) of using "dirty worker money" to start the United Front.

Numsa, South Africa's largest union, was expelled from Cosatu at a meeting in November.

Without mentioning Vavi by name, Nzimande questioned the intention of his scathing open letter to the SACP.

"Why are there open letters written to us if the intention isn't to drive a divide between Cosatu and the SACP?"

He then turned his attention to Numsa.

"It's unfortunate that some of the money being used by Numsa is dirty money from investments."

Nzimande consistently lashed out at the metalworkers union and accused it of masterminding its own expulsion from Cosatu.